Unfortunately, it isn’t unusual for the news to discuss a fatal accident on one of Illinois’ major interstates. News of a multi-care pileup or a death occurs weekly. The northern counties of the state are crisscrossed with freeways, including the ever-busy I-55, I-65, I-80, I-90, I-94, and I-290. There are at least 10 major interstates in Cook County alone, and that doesn’t take into consideration Illinois routes and U.S. highways. The interstates and freeways are the veins flowing through the state, but sometimes health issues arise and major car accidents lead to injuries and deaths.
Car crashes happen for a variety of reason – sometimes they’re purely accidental, but other times people’s negligent or malicious behavior put lives at risk. Some of the many risk factors associated with interstate car accidents are:
- Speeding: Perfectly safe drivers sometimes turn into speed demons on the interstate. Many people are in a hurry when they’re on the highway, particularly if they’re commuting to or from work, which means they try to run 75 or 80 mph instead of the posted speed limit. Speeding is one of the top causes for traffic accidents on any road.
- Traffic congestion: In combination with speeding, Cook County and its collar county’s well-known traffic consistently leads to accidents. People who are in a hurry risk rear-ending slower traffic or nicking another car’s bumper by changing lanes into a space that isn’t quite big enough.
- Improper lane changes: People tend to weave in and out of traffic when they are impatient or to change lanes without checking their blind spots. Both issues can cause multi-vehicle collisions. If one car comes into another’s lane, they may run people off the road, onto the shoulder, into a ditch, or into a concrete median.
- Poor infrastructure: The reason Illinois is known for its lengthy construction season is because many of the roads and bridges are old and in need of repairs. Uneven interstates or roads with potholes can cause accidents, particularly if the driver is speeding or not paying close attention to the environment.
- Impaired driving: Driving while intoxicated from drugs or alcohol is a leading cause of accidents on any type of Illinois road – not just interstates. Drugs and alcohol alter a driver’s perception of distance and speed, slow their reaction time, and even change how they perceive potential hazards. These factors are often a deadly combination, especially at fast speeds.
- Distracted driving: People who have to commute and hour or more to and from work often want to multitask in the car. They spend too much time in the driver’s seat to just listen to music, so they put on makeup, drink coffee, eat breakfast, and even read or do the Chicago Tribune’s crossword puzzle.
- Weather: Illinois gets some pretty nasty weather – rain, sleet, heavy winds, snow, and heavy fog. All of this drastically reduces visibility and decreases traction on the roads. If drivers aren’t extra careful – or better yet staying off the roads – then they could be part of a major accident on an interstate.
Call a Chicago Interstate Lawyer
If you were in an accident on an Illinois interstate, don’t hesitate to call the experienced attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. They will explain your rights and your legal options, including whether a lawsuit against an insurance company or the other driver is your best course of action. Call (312) 236-2900 today for a free, legal consultation.